ATHENS — There might not be a more plugged in college football audience than Georgia’s, and that’s with very good reason.
This could be the year.
Bulldogs fans have heard that most offeasons since 1981, the year after Herschel Walker carried the football program to its most recent national championship.
But this year’s group, these would-be 2020 Bulldogs, are anything but a one-man team.
The defense is the best in the nation, hands down. Eighty percent of last year’s production is back off a unit that ranked as the country’s best, and there’s at least three impact freshmen added to the mix.
The offense has reloaded, with not one, but three capable quarterbacks and the most talented receiving corps of Kirby Smart’s tenure. You can’t turn around in the running backs room or offensive line meeting space without bumping into a 5-star talent.
So, Georgia fans understand the value of this season should enough conference commissioners decide on having a season after their consultations with their team of medical and scientific experts.
The SEC is in. The ACC is in. The Big 12 is on the fence, and the Big Ten is backpedaling from reports it had canceled its season. The Pac-12 is likely out, but also, the most unstable and irrelevant of the Power 5 conferences.
RELATED: Sorting out Manic Monday, Big Ten coaches revolt
Most understand that football is not going to be risk-free — it never has been.
Sports, in general, require measured risks and that’s why physicals are mandatory before young people enter into that arena.
At each level, there is strenuous training and exertion. Youth sports, high school sports, and certainly the professional leagues all run those same risks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated moving forward in every facet of our society, and sports have obviously not been exempt.
The political tone on the COVID-related issues is different from one region to the next, and from one building on campus to another on the same campus, as the Big Ten showed us on Monday.
Georgia administrators have remained silent, and head coach Kirby Smart passed on the opportunity to comment amid the manic Monday activity that drew out so many of his coaching peers.
Smart and his Bulldogs know the hand they are holding. Georgia has no immediate intent of folding.
All they can do — and the UGA fans can do — is hope a safe pathway exists for football, and that enough enough conferences stay in the game for a college season to exist.
DawgNation CFB crisis coverage
Podcast: Why SEC should lead way in season movement
What players are saying amid player movement to play
‘SEC reportedly battling to continue march toward football season
Report: Big Ten canceling football season, per USA Today